After a strong start, West Coast proved too big and too strong for Collingwood at Optus Stadium in front of the biggest crowd in the Southern Hemisphere since the start of COVID – 54,159.
The Magpies led at the first break after a five-goal first term, coach Nathan Buckley’s decision to throw Darcy Moore forward and the aggressiveness of Brodie Grundy pushing into attack was working a treat.
Things fell apart from there, with the Eagles midfield getting on top and injuries to Jeremy Howe and Jordan De Goey crippling the Pies structurally.
West Coast kept their foot on the throat in the second half, leading by six goals at three quarter time before the sting went out of the game in the final term.
Here’s everything you need to know!
The Medical Room: Pies lose star duo
Collingwood’s strong start and momentum was completely undone by the losses of Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe.
De Goey suffered what appears to be a broken nose early in the game and was ruled out by the doctors.
Howe meanwhile tore his hamstring in the second quarter in a marking contest.
Collingwood played out the game one player down on the bench, given the medical sub, but the impact of who they lost was more important.
Key forward Brody Mihocek finished the game on the bench with ice on his shoulder as well after a heavy collision.
Oscar Allen from OUT OF NO WHERE 😱 pic.twitter.com/eGssciCywb
— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 16, 2021
The Talking Point: Darcy Moore thrown forward
Despite Collingwood assistant coach Robert Harvey telling AFL Nation pre-game that the move wouldn’t happen, Darcy Moore was thrown forward for this must-win game.
The roll of the dice appeared to be working early, with Moore keeping West Coast’s intercept markers accountable.
He kicked a goal after taking a contested mark and gave the Magpies some early momentum.
Unfortunately for Collingwood, Moore’s absence in defence was felt.
Oscar Allen, Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy all looked dangerous and marked everything. The makeshift black and white backline had no answers without him.
Channel Seven’s Wayne Carey continuously called for Nathan Buckley to swing Moore back, but the coach held his nerve.
The 25-year-old looked good inside 50 when the Magpies’ ball movement actually gave him an opportunity, kicking three, but the question will simply be whether they can afford to have him there.
With Howe injured, it will be interesting to see if Collingwood holds firm with this change moving forward.
Collingwood prepares for the traditional Anzac Day clash with Essendon next Sunday on the MCG.
West Coast meanwhile makes the long road trip from Perth to Geelong to take on the Cats.
— Ryan Daniels (@FootyRhino) April 16, 2021
West Coast: 3.1, 9.5, 14.6, 16. 7. (103)
Collingwood: 5.4, 7.5, 7.7, 11. 10. (76)
West Coast: Darling 5, Allen 5, Sheed 3, Kelly, Kennedy, Brander
Collingwood: Moore 3, Mihocek 2, Grundy 2, McCreery 2, Brown, Cameron
West Coast: Oscar Allen, Jack Darling, Jack Redden, Dom Sheed, Liam Duggan, Andrew Gaff
Collingwood: Brodie Grundy, Brayden Maynard, Steele Sidebottom, Chris Mayne, Scott Pendlebury
West Coast: Tom Cole (concussion), Josh Rotham (head clash)
Collingwood: Howe (hamstring), De Goey (face), Mihocek (shoulder)